Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Boycott the Supermarkets that rip off our farmers

Today I am asking you to join me in a boycott certain supermarkets as part of our campaign for a fair deal for British Farmers.

I urge you to avoid buying milk at not  at Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl or Londis – and to think twice about Asda and the Co-op.

I launched the fair deal campaign to get a better deal for the regions farmers a few weeks ago, after a cut in milk prices highlighted how much farmers are squeezed by producers and big supermarkets.

However it's more than just a single issue, and there was a wider need to ensure a fair deal for British farmers. People want to buy British. People want british meat and british milk on our supermarket shelves, but that is pointless if farmers are being ripped off by the big supermarkets. I hope local people will use the pound in their pocket to make their support for our British farmers clear.

I have been pushing the Government to speed up and enforce the draft code of practice between milk processors and producers which diary farmers have been calling for; an agreement on the code now looks likely which is good news.

But we must not be fooled. Some supermarkets are acting shamefully. In 1996 supermarkets were making an average margin of about 2.3p a litre on milk, but today it stands at around 15p a litre. At the same time they want to pay farmers less than the 30p a litre, a price which is the bare minimum farmers can survive on.

The current price at Tesco for a two-pint (1.1 litre) carton of milk is currently 89p, while at Asda a four pint carton can be purchased for just £1.

Tesco, Sainsbury, Waitrose and Marks and Spencer are all paying the minimum 30p a litre or more to dairy farmers. Aldi, Lidl, Londis, Asda and the Co-op do not and Morrisons have now temporarily raised the price they pay, but for how long? I hope local people will join me in avoiding those stores that won't pay a reasonable price to our local diary farmers and help get a fair deal for British farmers.